A ‘Rugs-To-Riches’ Story: Door-To-Door Salesman In Kolkata To Vendor Of The World’s Most-Expensive Places

Every place in the world has a door, but not all of them get door-to-door salespeople. Everyone in the world is a consumer of different products, but the way they buy defines their purchasing power, and the potential of their vendors, too. Thus, we usually believe that someone who is selling their products door-to-door or in the streets can never rise to sell their products to the most famous and powerful people in the world. But nothing is impossible and there are practically no limitations when you have a determination like Asif Rahman of Insigne Carpets.

Asif belonged to a typical working-class family based in Kolkata. His father was a jute mill worker who was proficient in Arabic and his mother was a house wife, from whom he learnt Sanskrit. Asif completed his graduation from Kolkata University in the year 1988 and started looking for a job, he needed it desperately. Asif got his first job accidentally when a shopowner invited him inside his shop located on Park Street in Kolkata – the shop sold rugs and Asif was just staring at their products from the outside. Appreciating Asif’s curiosity, the shop owner offered him a job as a door-to-door salesman after some initial inquiry – badly off, Asif quickly grabbed the opportunity.

“My father was a jute mill worker who had expertise in Arabic, mother was proficient with Sanskrit, and I was jobless, Asif Told KenFolios.”

After embarking on a career journey in the carpet industry, Asif only knew that it will be his consistent hard work that will pave his way to success. As a door-to-door salesperson, Asif faced all physical and psychological challenges including extreme hard work, and humiliation, occasionally. Asif kept learning and grew as an expert in the carpets business. Expertise soon fetched him a better employment opportunity to work at a Bhadohi based carpet house – he joined and worked with them till the year 2003. In the year 2003, Asif got an opportunity to work with a New-York based carpet company.

In his long stint of eight years with the New-York based company, Asif mastered the carpets industry from an international perspective and developed good contacts in the business – during this period, he became a carpet-wizard and decided to start his own business – he launched his company ‘Insigne Carpets.’ Asif soon got his first order – a small contract to design carpets for the entrance lobby of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai, IHCL’s flagship hotel – he could only get this small contract due to his credibility as the Taj Group has strict norms for vendors. The officials took special permissions to make way for Asif to enter the supplier’s list of IHCL.

“My journey is a journey from a carpet installer to a CEO, Asif told KenFolios.”

Since then, it has been a combination of creativity, precision, and quality that made Insigne Carpets a leading carpet manufacturer. Asif took extraordinary efforts to find carpet artisans from across the nation. Meanwhile, he kept developing and engaging new manufacturing facilities for his manufacturing. As of 2020, Insigne Carpets has a team of 13 designers and 18 offices across the globe and has manufacturing facilities in India and China.

Insigne’s clientele includes large five-star hotels and airports, private and commercial jets, and properties belonging to the world’s wealthiest and most influential people. Some of the finest project by Insigne include the carpeting of the private yacht of the crown prince of Abu-Dhabi. Their clientele also includes companies like Google, Luis Vuitton, etc., to name a few.

For someone who accidentally and needfully started in the carpet industry – someone who started working as a door-to-door salesperson and installer – to have reached this height is an uncommon feat. The story of Asif Rahman is not just a rags-to-riches but a ‘Rugs-To-Riches’ story 🙂

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